The most likely need for this procedure would be as a result of a Medical Emergency when a person cannot be treated adequately on board. Once the patient’s condition has stabilised, (as much as possible), arrangements can be made for his transfer. In such cases arrangements for and OPL call would be made either directly with local agents of through London.
Arrangements for a launch will be made by the master and local agents / Port Authorities. Preparation for and subsequent transfer of the person will be the responsibility of the Chief Officer.
If the vessel is underway, the main engine will be placed on Standby and speed reduced for arrival at the agreed RV Position.
Speed / Heading of vessel will be as agreed between launch and Master to provide the safest transfer conditions, taking into account the prevailing weather.
The method of transfer will largely depend on the person’s mobility.
- If the person can walk:-
Transfer will take place using the accommodation ladder. The person will be assisted to the bottom of the gangway by an able bodied person. Both the casualty and his escort will wear floatation aids and safety harness if required.
- If the person is unable to walk:-
The stretcher will be used to transfer the person, and the C/O will delegate personnel to assist the casualty into the stretcher and to move him to the place of transfer. The mode of transfer will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time, and the size of the shore launch to be used. Either a lifeboat or a midships crane will be used and the master will decide at the time. In most cases the crane will be the safest option. The crane may be used for this purpose as stated in COSWP 21.2.18. Two steadying lines of adequate length must be secured to the bottom of the stretcher and the person steadied from both the ship and the launch, during lowering. A 3m length of rope or suitable strop and shackle arrangement should be used to distance the person from the crane hook. The crane hook is to be moused.
If the lifeboat is to be used it is to be manned as per the rescue boat manning on the muster list. The rescue boat crew are to wear lifejackets and hard hats.